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What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:14 pm
by gkmaia
I got a desktop with windows XP and an internal floppy drive. I could try to write the EPS system floppy myself as I have the OS image file already.

Would you be able to let me know what windows software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to the floppy?

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 1:24 am
by Rasputin
gkmaia wrote:
Sat Jan 04, 2020 10:14 pm
Would you be able to let me know what windows software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to the floppy?
You can't write HFE files directly to floppy diskettes, although you could convert an HFE to a writable image if you were determined to do so.

The best approach is to use a raw image file (IMG) with Omniflop. The website below has such disk images.

http://zine.r-massive.com/ensoniq-asr-eps-archive/

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:26 am
by gkmaia
Thanks for the help.

I did manage to get omni flop, install & license it.

Test installation returns the drive supports the Ensoniq 800k formats plus auto sense.

Test BIOS drive type returns 3.5" 1.44MB

Formatted MF2-DD disks in a few different formats but when using the diagnostic diagnostic tool it returns 80/2/18X512 (1440kb) for any format I do.

I know the Ensoniq format I need is 80/2/10X512 (800kb). But it's just not formatting on that format.

But when trying to write the .IMG file I can hear the head clanking a few times then it fails. Also fail when trying to read disks.

Also complied with the following

4.2 The Ideal Test Environment
The best environment, at least for testing OmniFlop, is:
 Windows 2000 SP4.
 31⁄2" 1.44MB High-Density internal Floppy Disk Drive.
 BIOS set up for 31⁄2" 1.44MB High-Density Floppy Disk Drive.
 31⁄2" 1.44MB [2.0MB unformatted] High-Density floppy disk (for High-Density formats). Not a
double-density floppy disk!
 31⁄2" 720kB [1.0MB unformatted] Double-Density floppy disk (for double or single-density formats).
Not a high-density floppy disk! It doesn't have the HD hole in the top, and it doesn't have tape over
it!
 OmniFlop v2.01 or later downloaded.
 Windows running in Safe Mode.
 All Anti-Virus software disabled or not installed.
 Re-install Floppy Disk Controller.
 Install OmniFlop in place of Microsoft Floppy Disk Drive.
 Try 'Test installation', then 'Test disk' (Diagnostics), then 'Read disk'.
 If all else fails, try 'Get disk map' (Diagnostics) and send it to support.


Any idea of what could be causing that?

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 6:58 pm
by Rasputin
gkmaia wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 5:26 am
I did manage to get omni flop, install & license it.
Any idea of what could be causing that?
You have to install a couple drivers for Omniflop to support weird formats, otherwise it will only work with the expected IBM PC 1.44MB and 720K standard geometries.

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:04 pm
by gkmaia
You mean the replace the original windows FDC and Floppy drivers with the ones that comes in the package with Omniflop?

If that is it I've done that.

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 2:46 pm
by Rasputin
gkmaia wrote:
Sun Jan 05, 2020 7:04 pm
You mean the replace the original windows FDC and Floppy drivers with the ones that comes in the package with Omniflop?
Yes, that's what I was meant. If that isn't the issue then it would very likely have to be the floppy drive or something odd with the floppy controller. It could also be the diskettes, but I'm assuming you've tried multiple disks with the same result.

If it is a desktop computer with an internal floppy drive then the controller is almost definitely compatible, so I suppose I would suspect the floppy drive.

It might be worth using a boot disk which boots to true DOS. At that point, you could use Giebler EDE or EDM to write an image outside of a Windows environment.

Send me a PM here if you're interested in pursuing that option.

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:12 pm
by gkmaia
I went through several DD disks yesterday and got mixed results. Some disks would crash at 0% others at 70%.
Pretty clear some of the 80 sectors were not functional anymore.

I could manage to get ONE disk to format 100%, Write 100% and read 100%. Put both original.img and the image retrieved from the floppy on my HEX editor and they are identical.

The disk from eBay does not read. It crashes at 0%.

Now to my second issue.

When inserting any of the crashed disks or the eBay disk in my EPS I get the "disk not formatted" message.

When inserting my 100% write/read disk I get "data corrupted" message. So it understands the physical structure of the disk but the data it gets is scrambled.

From a hardware standpoint I did probe the EPS 74LS07 non inverting buffer that sits between the FDC and the drive and RD/IP/TR00/WRPT signals are flowing fine.

This tells me the EPS FDC 1772 seems functional. Being able to get data from floppy and discern it to some level.

My suspicion would be that my floppy drive is not being able to read the data properl. Would you agree with that? Another theory?

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:46 pm
by Rasputin
gkmaia wrote:
Mon Jan 06, 2020 9:12 pm
I could manage to get ONE disk to format 100%, Write 100% and read 100%. Put both original.img and the image retrieved from the floppy on my HEX editor and they are identical.
That tells us that the PC software and floppy controller are working and compatible. But it seems like you have a multiple problems going on at once, and it'd be easiest if we had other known working hardware to narrow it down.

Most prudent solution is to just go with a floppy emulator and forget 3.5" diskettes entirely. This would solve every problem and be a workflow upgrade at the same time.

If you really want to stay with diskettes then you have to verify that your PC drive is in proper alignment or otherwise in proper working order. Easiest way would be to get another similar PC or install another floppy drive into the same PC and do the same test. If both PC drives cannot easily read disks authored by each other then something is wrong with one of the drives.

You need to start with a known working EPS disk before you being troubleshooting the EPS at all. The only way to conclusively verify an EPS disk is to use a good IMG and write it to a diskette which can be verified in multiple disk drives with Omniflop or load it into another working EPS.

Once you have established that the EPS disk is proper then figure out if it's an electronic or mechanical issue on the EPS. Could be head alignment, could be ribbon cable, could be floppy controller... or could be nothing at all because the diskettes were bad!

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:59 pm
by gkmaia
If you really want to stay with diskettes then you have to verify that your PC drive is in proper alignment or otherwise in proper working order. Easiest way would be to get another similar PC or install another floppy drive into the same PC and do the same test. If both PC drives cannot easily read disks authored by each other then something is wrong with one of the drives.
On my same PC I read the same floppy with a Panasonic, a Sony and a Citizen drive. Converted the readings with Omniflop into 3 image files. Dropped these images into an HEX comparing tool. They are all a perfect match to the original EPS OS .img file I downloaded.

This tells Omniflop, drive and floppy are storing the correct data.

My problem must be with my EPS drive or the EPS itself.

I think probably would an idea to try getting the EPS drive to run on my PC. I can provide +12 / +5 externally. Will have to figure out the ICD34 IBM cable pinout...

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:53 am
by Rasputin
gkmaia wrote:
Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:59 pm
This tells Omniflop, drive and floppy are storing the correct data.

My problem must be with my EPS drive or the EPS itself.

I think probably would an idea to try getting the EPS drive to run on my PC. I can provide +12 / +5 externally. Will have to figure out the ICD34 IBM cable pinout...
It also tells you that the majority of your diskettes are bad, if you were only able to write one disk out of the lot even though your setup and drives are apparently functioning.

Trying to put the EPS drive in a PC is going to be way more difficult than adapting a PC drive to work in the EPS. Easiest approach is still to use HxC or FlashFloppy on a Gotek. This will eliminate any guesswork about drive and disk incompatibility or reliability.

But, if you're determined to use a real floppy drive: See if one of your spare PC drives has a ready signal which can be tapped either by a jumper block, or a solder point on the PCB. If so, make sure the drive is on DS0 instead of DS1 (re-wire it that way or re-swap its drive ID with a prepared floppy cable), and rig up the ready signal. I warn you that the EPS is particular with disk changes so even if you get it to boot with a modified PC drive, you're going to have to spend more hacking time to get it to co-operate when you swap disks.

Save yourself the grief and just get a floppy emulator. $20 total with FlashFloppy, even with the USB drive and USBA to USBA cable to easily flash it.

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:56 pm
by gkmaia
It is a long story with this EPS and I was trying to restore it to factory. Will be wiser to follow your advice and try the GOTEK drive.

I found this one on aliexpres. Says it is a GOTEK so I assume that is the right one. I notice there are 720kb and 1.44Mb Gotek drives.

Does it make a difference considering the EPS is 720kb? I would say no, as the EPS FDC supports both densities, but not sure....

2018 Version SFR1M44-U100K Black 3.5" 1.44MB USB SSD FLOPPY DRIVE EMULATOR for YAMAHA KORG ROLAND Electronic keyboard GOTEK

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 8:59 am
by blueknob
It sounds like you guys are on the case. Just my 2p from my use of floppy with EPS16+. To save my sanity I had to check each floppy for bad sectors on a computer before I did anything Ensoniq. A time consuming pain but I found bad sectors wouldn't get picked up as a fault so when the EPS16+ came to read that disc, failure. When I did a 800kb sector worth of checking I was surprised at how many of my floppies turned out to be unusable. :roll:

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Fri Jan 10, 2020 7:20 pm
by Rasputin
gkmaia wrote:
Wed Jan 08, 2020 7:56 pm
Does it make a difference considering the EPS is 720kb? I would say no, as the EPS FDC supports both densities, but not sure....
Get the cheapest Gotek possible which is the 1.44MB version. The density thing doesn't matter because you'll have to put FlashFloppy firmware onto it anyway or else it will not work with Ensoniq EPS. FlashFloppy allows for various diskette geometries and interfaces, so once you get the EPS going then you can always put in a real floppy drive and repurpose the Gotek for an Atari ST, Emu Emax, Yamaha TX16W, or just about anything else.

I also echo blueknob's sentiments about dead floppies. At this point, I almost expect them to be bad, so be prepared to systematically weed out disks that aren't 100% using his technique. A floppy emulator eliminates this problem, of course.

I understand the desire to keep it "stock" with the 3.5" drive, but having Gotek+FlashFloppy will make the troubleshooting a lot easier and it's worth the price of entry. Even if you don't end up wanting to keep it, you can always sell it to someone less tech savvy that is looking for a floppy emulator -- there are hundreds of uses for it.

Re: What software is used to write the EPS249OS.hfe image to a floppy?

Posted: Tue Feb 04, 2020 9:17 am
by gkmaia
It was the drive that was faulty. I got a gotek and installed a HxC and it now works fine.

It is sad the old drive does not work anymore.